FIGIEFA deplores the Commission’s decision to withdraw its proposal for a Directive on the legal protection of designs (also known as ‘Repairs Clause’ Directive), which became effective on the 21st of May in the EU Official Journal.
As member of ECAR, the European Campaign for the Freedom of the Automotive Parts and Repair Market, FIGIEFA has been active for several years in Brussels to promote free competition and to prevent a monopolisation of the market for visible spare parts through abuse of design protection.
A European ‘Repairs Clause’ would have been a positive step in opening the market for visible automotive replacement parts to free and fair competition across the European Union. In fact, this proposal for legislation striked a fair balance between intellectual property protection, the need for free competition, consumers’ protection and the finalisation of the single market.
It is therefore regrettable that the Commission has been forced to withdraw the Repairs Clause proposal, due to the lack of progress of the negotiations in the Council and despite the overall support expressed in 2007 by the European Parliament.
ECAR remains nevertheless committed to fight for the completion of an internal market for visible automotive replacement parts and improve and motoring consumers’ freedom of choice across the European Union.